Zverev ‘did not consult doctors’ before playing while sick

The FFT has said that Alexander Zverev did not follow protocol and consult tournament doctors before playing the fourth round of the French Open

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Alexander Zverev is in hot water for playing his fourth round match against Jannik Sinner despite having breathing issues and running a fever.

The French Tennis Federation has said that the German had not consulted the tournament doctors before taking court.

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The sixth seed, who was stunned 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 3-6 by the Italian teenager, revealed after the match that he was not feeling well.

“I am completely sick,” Zverev said after the match. “I can’t really breathe, as you can hear by my voice. I had a fever as well. It was 38. It was 38 in the night or in the evening.

“I am not in the best physical state, I would say. I think that had a little bit of an effect on the match today.”

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During the first set, a doctor was called out on court for a coughing Zverev. The 24-year-old though later assured that he and his team had tested negative every time for Covid-19.

In a statement, the FFT said, “He did not consult the tournament doctors before his match.”

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“Zverev is up-to-date on his tests, which have all been negative,” the FFT continued. “His last test was on September 29, with results received on September 30. Today he received a reminder for his next test, to be carried out within five days of the previous results.”

The German had started feeling sick after his third round match against Marco Cecchinato, on October 2, and admitted that maybe he should not have gone ahead with the Round of 16 clash.

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“To be honest, I warmed up today: I shouldn’t have played,” he said. “I was hoping maybe for a three-set win or something like that, but I knew from the beginning that it wasn’t going to be easy.”

According to a report in The New York Times, the players have been handed an FAQ document, which specifically has a query on, “Should I withdraw from the tournament if I don’t feel well?”

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The answer: ‘Our medical team must be notified, in accordance with our official sanitary protocol.’ It further started that any player showing symptoms, like fever and breathlessness that Zverev did, should immediately report to the medical room dedicated for Covid-19 tests.

“Pending the result of the test, the suspected case is excluded from the stadium and required to self-isolate,” the document states.

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Interestingly, after his second round match Zverev, who had reached the US Open finals last month, complained that the French Open had not really kept the players in a bio-secure bubble, like the one in New York.

“In the room next to me, there’s guests, regular guests, staying there with souvenirs every single day that they come, from the Eiffel Tower and stuff like that,” he had said.

“Yeah, you can’t compare the two. New York has impressed us players. Here they have not done too much.”

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Zverev doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to following protocol during the pandemic. He was part of the Adria Tour where four players, including organiser and World No 1 Novak Djokovic, had tested positive for Coronavirus.

Though the German tested negative, he said in a statement that he would be self-isolating as a precaution. Less than a week later, he was seen partying in France.